Conventional behavior.

I don’t think it’s ever going to rain here again. I can’t tell you how often this summer I’ve watched healthy storm systems blow out of the Plains, gain a little strength on the hop over Lake Michigan, and immediately start dissipating. Like hurricanes. By the time they reach us, they’ve become a few widely scattered showers. Followed by another high pressure system that will stay for a few days.

I mean, I’m grateful the heat has finally eased up (even though it’s going to be 94 today), but man — this weather is sort of boring. And there’s no water left anywhere.

Upside: No mosquitos. Although we’re still having a West Nile outbreak. And thanks to the hurricane, gas is now $4.20 a gallon. But hey! J.C. Burns is coming for dinner on Monday, so what’s not to love?

OK, then. Much of the news from the convention has been flying over my head; I just don’t have patience for a) these events; and b) the way they’re covered, with every gotcha moment blown up like a party balloon and batted around until the next one comes along. And so, while I heard and disapproved of the peanuts-thrown-at-the-black-CNN-camerawoman story yesterday, I tried to let it roll off.

Then, today, a read a very detailed account of the incident. And this is disturbing:

“I was just about to put on my headset when someone started throwing peanuts at me,” she told me. “I didn’t understand what was going on.” She recovered enough to ask one man, “Are you out of your damned mind?” A pair of older white men walked to the railing preventing people from falling down into the camera pit. One hurled more peanuts at her and taunted, “Here! Want some more peanuts?”

Then they actually started hitting her with them. “This is what we feed to the animals at the zoo!” he continued. While his partner laughed, the thrower leaned over the railing as if he WAS at the zoo and snorted, “Here’s some more peanuts.”

My friend continued, “It was like they were heckling me.” It became clear to her these people were enjoying her torment. Two African-American cameramen and a female Caucasian reporter came over to investigate the fracas, but none had clearly heard what the men said. CNN security arrived by coincidence and set off after them.

(If that narrative is confusing, click the link and read the whole thing. It’s told in the first person by a friend of the camera operator.) That isn’t a tossed-off moment. That’s a deliberate, sustained bout of extreme obnoxiousness. What’s worse is the official reaction:

Then a pair of people who identified themselves as RNC officials came to apologize — or offer what to them passed as such. “These must have been alternates,” one said. “Our delegates would never do anything like that.”

Oh. OK.

However, believe it or not, that wasn’t the most offensive thing I read today. It was this, which may be a little confusing as well, as that link is to part of an interview posted yesterday by the National Catholic Register, with Fr. Benedict Groeschel, a Franciscan friar who appears to be making a rather vile explanation for child sexual abuse in the One True:

Part of your work here at Trinity has been working with priests involved in abuse, no?

A little bit, yes; but you know, in those cases, they have to leave. And some of them profoundly — profoundly — penitential, horrified. People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.

And it gets worse from there. At one point, he refers to Jerry Sandusky as that “poor guy.”

The NCR has taken the interview down and apologized copiously, as has the friar. He’s playing the I’m-an-old-man card: My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be.

That might be, but I still say it explains a lot.

OK, it’s Mitt’s acceptance speech, so I guess I have to watch it. You guys pick it up in the comments, eh.

And happy Labor Day weekend. You deserve a day off.

Posted at 12:58 am in Current events |

69 responses to “Conventional behavior.”

  1. basset said on August 31, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Sue from yesterday – I didn’t watch the baby video, but consider yourself encouraged anyway.

    Couldn’t stand to watch the convention, not tonight, not last night. Outdoor Channel hunting shows for me… already been out in the woods looking for deer sign and putting up motion-sensor cameras.

    And this is interesting if you like weird old guitars:

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  2. Dexter said on August 31, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Clint Eastwood, darling of the modern Republicans, off the goddam rails, or…let’s let Ozzy tell us:
    “All aboard! Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!

    Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay

    Crazy, but that’s how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes…

    Mental wounds not healing
    Life’s a bitter shame
    I’m going off the rails on a crazy train
    I’m going off the rails on a crazy train”

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  3. Sherri said on August 31, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I don’t watch conventions, haven’t since about 1976, but I did watch a few minutes of Clint on YouTube. A few minutes was all I could stand. I don’t enjoy watching people embarrass themselves like that.

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  4. Scout said on August 31, 2012 at 2:30 am

    It should not surprise anyone that Candidate Rmoney (unmanned drone-R) was upstaged by a feeble old fart and a chair. Not to mention (but I’m going to anyway) that Honey Boo Boo killed them in the ratings. What a fitting end to this clvsterfvck. USA!

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  5. coozledad said on August 31, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Eastwood’s executors found the short play, written in large, looping letters on the cardboard back of a legal pad. Titled “Waiting for Aaron Rents” it dispels the long accepted idea that Eastwood’s convention remarks were off the cuff.
    It is uncertain whether a cryptic phrase at the beginning of the mini-play is its only stage instruction, or simply an obscure note, but it is clear from watching the performance that Eastwood never delivers the line “Two Ambien, Captain Morgan”.

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  6. Prospero said on August 31, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Scout, I wish I’d thought of (unmanned drone). This is something the whited sepulchers on the right have chosen to criticise Obama over. Like Shock and Awe and torturing weren’t the cornerstones of Shrub foreign policy.

    Bassett, it’s early, but that guitar link parbly made my day. Lowest rank, second from left Grinnell guitar. Grinnells was the downtown music store in Birmingham MI when I was pretending to grow up. We’d go in and pretend we were RMoney-style rich kids and our dads would be in later with the platinum cards, and they’d let us set up equipment and play Dirty Water or a Stones song:

    They can parade Clint Eastwood all they want at the Devolution Convention, but he thinks they are assholes:

    One way or another, when Clint makes a movie, I’m parbly there.

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  7. Prospero said on August 31, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Obama ecology stormtroopers killed jobs by accusing Gibson Co. of importing illegal woods from SA. Of course, Gibson admitted it, but that doesn’t stop the Faux reverb. Turns out Gibson imported endangered species woods illegally from SA. GOPers were hot on this for a while, mostly because the thought the wood was for fancy gunstocks. And I own Gibson guitars, but

    And GOPers all play dogass Fenders, so their outrage was typically hypocritical.

    And speaking of scandals, where’s Issa (car thief, CA) and his wierdo gun-walking witness? You know, the guy that actually walked guns.

    At this point, I think the legalize hemp people should run the country. Or a decent, smart guy like President Obama.

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  8. brian stouder said on August 31, 2012 at 8:03 am

    I think Catherine won yesterday’s thread, with the following reaction she found, to Clint’s disheveled prime-time/last day/grand finale performance:

    OK, just one more from Matt Yglesias: “Clint Eastwood demonstrating that seniors may not be prepared to navigate a menu of subsidized private insurance plans.”

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  9. Suzanne said on August 31, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I watched about 5 minutes of the convention. One of my extremely right leaning Facebook friends was even appalled by Clint.

    I’m sick of hearing about “American Exceptionalism”. Sorry, God doesn’t love us any better than Mexico. Or Israel. Or China. These people are really starting to scare me more and more because of the extremism. Surely, if God loves the US (look at how successful we’ve been! Isn’t that proof?) then any success is proof of God’s providence and favor. Isn’t the next step that any failure in business, or love, or athletics shows that that person is not Godly and in need of some re-education in how to live? Never mind that all but one of the original 12 apostles died a horrible death and would have been seen, at the time, as a complete failure.

    And to watch the evangelical set who 5 years ago considered Mormonism a weird little cult now drool all over themselves for Romney is more than I can stand.

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  10. Jolene said on August 31, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Amen, amen re your comment on American exceptionalism, Suzanne. In addition to the idea that we are somehow more special than all other peoples, American exceptional ism requires historical amnesia.

    Chris Hayes, one of the MSNBC commentators, noted how prevalent the idea of nostalgia was in many of the convention speeches. It’s one thing to recall certain elements of the past fondly, but pretending the past was golden is silly. It requires ignoring the reality that the opportunity to experience the promise of America has required, for many of us, long and painful struggles and that the distribution of opportunity is still highly imperfect.

    And, yes, great find w/ the Yglesias quote, Catherine.

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  11. churchlady said on August 31, 2012 at 9:28 am

    The amazing thing about the peanut throwing incident is how rapidly CNN and the RNC have been trying to plunger the incident down the memory hole. The names of the ejected – uh, people – have not been released. Nor has their status as delegates, alternates, or weird people from off the street. I can’t imagine something like that happening at a Dem convention and the media wouldn’t be all over it like a fly on shit.

    And that Catholic arguing that sometimes young boys drive priests crazy by being so comely. It’s easy to see why the child abuse problem persists, everyone in the hierarchy wants to cover it up, to “protect” the good name of the Church. The whole organization needs to be declared a sex offender and order not to come within 500 years of a church or school.

    I read Matt Taibbi’s long article from Rolling Stone on Bain Capital and Mill Romney yesterday. Fascinating story. The two main take-aways from it are that Romney has never managed a company, he only knows how to loot them. The other is that the sort of pernicious lying that Romney indulges in isn’t, for him, an aberration,, it’s how these take-over artists operate. The attitude is ‘hey, we’re trying to make some money here,’ so anything goes to make the deal. And if anyone believes their lies, hey, they should have been smarter. God save us from such a ratfucker.

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on August 31, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I gathered from Romney’s speech that he likes love, America and his family, and doesn’t like Obama. Then I switched to The Daily Show.

    That old priest is just another variation on those who blame RC priest sex abuse on “the homosexual culture” or call the accusers money-hungry whores. Different words, same song.

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  13. Bob (not Greene) said on August 31, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Churchlady, I’m with you on especially CNN’s rush to throw a blanket on that story (I completely understand the RNC running away from it). To hear the victim tell it, it sounds like at the very least battery and at the worst a hate crime. I don’t even get the sense the police were ever involved other than “RNC security” (what the hell is that, their version of the SA?), even to interview anyone. They obviously know who these douchebags are. Oh, and the “they must be alternates” line? Yeah, surrre.

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  14. del said on August 31, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Patton Oswalt on the Clint Eastwood speech: In order to restore balance to the universe the DNC must have Tommy Chong talk to a steak.

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  15. Catherine said on August 31, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Yeah, I stayed up way too late reading hilarious tweets about Clint. Now I’m going to go download Crazy Train to my itunes (thanks for the idea, Dexter).

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  16. Sue said on August 31, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Our pastor recently resigned because he neglected to mention on his profile unresolved charges from female members at two previous churches in another denomination and wasn’t willing to face an inquiry. He was a popular, energetic and enthusiastic leader and the congregation was supportive and forgiving of him.
    So supportive and forgiving that people were screaming for the heads of the (anonymous) members who turned over the information to the Association. And questioning the parenting abilities of the mothers whose minor daughters were probable victims. And completely ignoring the idea of the responsibilities a congregation has to its vulnerable populations.
    Human nature really came to the fore in all its ugliness and I’m still shocked.

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  17. Sue said on August 31, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I heard Neil Diamond was going to sing at the Dem Convention.
    “I am,” I said
    To no one there
    An no one heard at all
    Not even the chair”

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  18. Sue said on August 31, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Obama responds to Eastwood:

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  19. Connie said on August 31, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Isaac hits home. Yesterday we were supposed to be leg 1 in a relay meant to get a young man from Louisiana we’ve never met picked up at the airport, reunited with the musical instruments stored at mother-in-law’s in Flint (upright bass and more)and then both young man and instruments to Ann Arbor to begin another year at UM. We were doing the airport pickup.

    All flights out of Louisiana were cancelled due to Isaac.

    I cracked up at the headline about Honey Boo Boo beating the Republicans in ratings. Ha.

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  20. Connie said on August 31, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Tweet I saw on Facebook: this is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama.

    From Jamelle Bouie. Am I supposed to cite something like that?

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  21. Jolene said on August 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    There’s a Twitter account owned by “invisibleObama” and a new meme called “eastwooding”. “Eastwooding” mainly involves pointing to empty chairs, as Eastwood did, though as the thing goes on, people get more creative. Worth searching Twitter on both terms for a few minutes of fun.

    I loved the response that Sue linked to at #18. Such a great example of the coolness of Obama.

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  22. Maggie Jochild said on August 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    In 1976 I attended a workshop led by Florence Rush at the National N.O.W. convention in Detroit, and for the first time had an inkling that my own history of sexual abuse might have seriously affected my approach to intimacy. A year later, I began counseling, and in 1980 I joined one of the first (ever) self-help/activism groups for incest survivors. We broke more ground than I can quite articulate; read Nancy Whittier’s latest book “The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse: Emotion, Social Movements, and the State” for a thorough description of what we did.

    The therapeutic standard in 1976 was that girls who were molested as children somehow elicited or invited the adult male’s sexual response to them. Therapy at that time meant accepting responsibility for your presumed complicity. I’m not surprised this distortion is still around, because the alternative is to recognize that the majority of sexual attention aimed at others by adult males is unsolicited and nonconsensual in onset. We raise boys to think this is their due and their drive in play, and raise girls to believe it is appreciation rather than a form of control. We get outraged now when it is aimed at children, but informed consent takes time and experience to acquire — I would argue that most teenaged girls and young women don’t have the skills or room to say no when that is what they actually prefer. Adult sexuality without predation and power imbalance as erotic deficition is going to look like nothing we know now. I for one am ready for liberation from the ancient Greek pathology.

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  23. LAMary said on August 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    The Simpsons did it first:

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  24. Jeff Borden said on August 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Well, even Lindsey Graham is lamenting that the GOP will be clobbered by demographics because it can no longer manufacture enough “angry white men” to win elections. Boo hoo hoo. With rare exceptions, the GOP has been blowing the race horn ever since the loathesome Richard M. Nixon and his fellow cockroaches decided to fan racial resentment with their “Southern strategy.” I am completely unsurprised that two goobers –their heads filled with right-wing radio bullshit and cries of “food stamp president” from major Republican figures– would throw peanuts at a black journalist. Why not? It allowed them to indulge in two of their favorite hates: media and people of color.

    Lest anyone thinks this was the lone incident of race-baiting, how ’bout the Puerto Rican lady who was on the RNC rules committee? When she was talking in her heavily-accented English, the delegates around her started chanting “USA! USA!” No less than Reince Priebus had to quell the uprising and tell the delegates to listen to “the lady from Puerto Rico.” Apparently, the goobers thought she was one of them there furriners because of her accent.

    There just doesn’t seem to be anyone with any moral stature in the Republican Party these days. . .someone who could knock some heads and get the party off its nativist, racist narcotic. The old John McCain might’ve played that role, but he sold his soul after getting fucked over by W. in 2000 as his decision to add the ignorant SheWho to the ticket to shore up his credentials with the loons.

    This is not a political party so much as a mob. If Rmoney wins, it will get ugly fast.

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  25. Bitter Scribe said on August 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    This is not a political party so much as a mob. If Rmoney wins, it will get ugly fast.

    And if he loses, it will get uglier, faster.

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  26. Rana said on August 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    It’s already ugly.

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  27. brian stouder said on August 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Well, I’m definitely looking forward to the Democratic National Convention, and Rachel’s (and her posse’s) reactions and discussions.

    I have no doubt they will be just as fact-based during the TV timeouts – even when they have to whack people that they might otherwise be in sympathy with.

    For example, if someone (say, Joe Biden) makes even a vaguely prejudiced remark about – say – Mormonism (maybe a ‘joke’ about Ryan’s tax “plan” being more fouled up than Mothers’ Day in Salt Lake City, for example) – then that person will get pounded on, and the floor reporters will press it, too.

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  28. Charlotte said on August 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Fire putting it all in perspective here — 0% contained, spread south two more drainages, probably 7 or 8 miles both sides of the PIne Creek road. Went out to watch for a while last night and flames were shooting 60-100 feet up out of the smoke as they climbed the ridges. Terrifying and weirdly beautiful. Here’s a link:
    Really makes elder Eastwood seem unimportant …

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  29. Jakash said on August 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Some selected, uncredited tweets lifted from Andrew Sullivan’s blog (where they ARE credited) about Romney’s and Clint’s speeches. If I mention the blog I got them from, does that make it okay to not name the authors?

    On Romney’s speech: If 90 percent of life is showing up, this speech is a 90.

    You’d better get to the part where SMALL BUSINESS put that man on the moon, commie

    So, Romney will make America great by ????? and not doing that thing Obama is doing?

    Invisible Obama: When Mitt Romney says “Mr. Chairman”, do you think he’s referring to me?

    Only possible Democratic response to Eastwood’s performance is to have William Shatner sing “Rocket Man” as their keynote.

    This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama.

    Eastwood representing libertarians around the country: pro freedom. anti war. and, more than likely, baked.

    Eastwood plainly giving the father of the bride speech at a wedding at which he dislikes the groom and does not recognize his daughter.

    Chris Rock: Clint Eastwood on the phone with Obama now: “It all went according to plan,sir.”

    Seth Meyers: Respect to Clint. 82 years old and putting Twitter over capacity.

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  30. brian stouder said on August 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Charlotte – wow.

    Watching the progress of a raging, all-consuming, and nearby inferno – has got to be a flatly strange experience.

    Here in Indiana, scarey weather comes every so often; an especially ominous thunderstorm with lots of sound and fury, or a particularly bitter snow storm or ice storm, or what have you.

    But an ongoing blaze, that grows and destroys and continues for days or even weeks?

    Worrying about such a thing would wear me out!

    Jackash – good stuff.

    Now I can’t decide if my fave bon mot is the one about old guy capable of dealing with a Medicare voucher, or the angry white guy arguing with a completely imaginary Obama.

    But in any case, now I understand why Twitter even exists; Eastwood’s strange soliloquy was a tailored-for-Twitter event, for sure

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  31. Scout said on August 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    The Eastwood debacle is the first thing to make me want a Twitter/Twat* account. The one from Matt Yglesias, “Clint Eastwood demonstrating that seniors may not be prepared to navigate a menu of subsidized private insurance plans.” gets my vote as the best one, hands down. It says it all.

    * attribution to TBogg

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  32. Sue said on August 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Chris Rock’s tweet – ‘The Dems should have an empty chair on stage for the entire DNC, & when anyone asks who it belongs to, they can say Osama bin Laden #DNC2012’

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  33. Jakash said on August 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Yglesias’s Medicare tweet is a great one, but I think I’d have to vote for the “old white man arguing with an imaginary Obama” as my all-purpose favorite. I see now that Connie posted it here way before I did, BTW…

    Sue, good one, as was Obama’s response that you linked to above.

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  34. Hattie said on August 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    In honor of Clint Eastwood:

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  35. Jolene said on August 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    That Yglesias tweet is great, in part, because it reveals a real issue. To the extent that it’s been defined, the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan involves creating a competitive insurance market rather the current single payer system. But competitive markets require purchasers capable of making informed choices. In the last few years of their lives, my parents could barely choose lunch. The idea that they could have made realistic decisions about what sort of health insurance to buy is ludicrous. The only way to manage such a market would be to regulate it heavily as a way of ensuring fairness and quality, in which case you might as well stick with the single payer system we have, which allows the payer to press providers to increase efficiency.

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  36. baldheadeddork said on August 31, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Long weekend, long post.

    This probably won’t be taken seriously by people who don’t already agree with me, but I think there is one serious point to take away from the convention dog-and-pony show.

    As noted by many others, a presidential nominee only has full control over two events in the entire election: Who he chooses as his running mate and his convention. Everything else he believes or wants to do might have to be massaged, ignored or even changed to get votes and money from one group or another. But choosing (and announcing) the nominee and running the convention are all his.

    I think there is a lot of evidence that in these moments a nominee gives a pretty good glimpse into how he’ll govern and lead if he wins. Look back to Obama for just one example. Watching Obama in the late primaries through the convention four years ago was nearly identical to how he’s operated as president for better and worse. (On the better side, a really smart staff with the lowest collective ego quotient I’ve ever seen in a campaign or administration. For worse, despite being really good at politics they hate to dirty their hands with it.) Bush 43 also showed a lot of his biggest strengths and flaws in the way he handled those decisions in 2000, as did Clinton in 1992.

    So, with that in mind, it’s time to address something that people haven’t wanted to point out from the beginning of the campaign. Mitt Romney and his team are fucking awful at running for president. They’re barely competent on a good day and they make so many awful unforced errors.

    This convention was a disaster. They invited a lot of unnecessary damage to the GOP in this election and beyond by bum rushing the Paul delegates. That’s the closest thing the GOP has to a viable youth movement and the Romney team threw them out because they played the game too well. The nominee always has final approval on the speeches given by the defeated candidates, but Romney’s team asserted no control and allowed everyone to talk about themselves for twenty minutes before mentioning Romney as a literal afterthought. There was no control of messaging at any point, and no control of the behavior of the delegates coming down from the top. What do you think Karl Rove would have done if the peanut incident happened at a convention he was running? It wouldn’t have just been the offenders thrown out. Whoever was responsible for that delegation would have been turned into a greasy stain on the convention floor – and every state leader would have known it before they landed in Tampa.

    And then, at ten pm EST last night when the networks picked up the convention and the audience tripled, Mitt Romney began his introduction to the American people with an Oscar-caliber performance of Clint Eastwood impersonating Grandpa Effing Simpson. Then came Marco Rubio to talk about himself for twenty minutes, and finally Romney himself.

    Probably only one person in four who was watching Romney’s acceptance speech was watching on the cable news channels or PBS before ten to see Romney’s introduction video. That is political malpractice on par with the Florida freak who injected cement into people’s asses and called it plastic surgery. Every candidate since Reagan in 1984 has used these meticulously crafted videos as the real introduction of the nominee. Know why? It fucking works. People like watching movies more than seeing someone give a speech and the campaign can use all of the soft focus and takes it needs to get the message right. Video, then – maybe – a brief introduction by someone who won’t outshine the candidate, then the acceptance speech. This is so simple and obvious, yet Romney and his team screwed it up beyond all recognition.

    It’s not just that the Romney campaign team is in over its head. They are, and so deeply they can’t even see the top of the ocean. But the bigger problem is that despite months of miscues and mistakes no one has lost their job. And even despite a lot of experience people in GOP politics saying they’ve got major problems with the candidate and the people running the campaign, Romney continues to run the same way he ran in February and even in 2008, and with all of the same top people.

    There is a strong correlation between how Romney is running his campaign and the way a bad CEO runs a company. You don’t have to follow business very long to find a company that gets into serious trouble because the CEO had bad staff and either didn’t have the vision to see what was really happening or a deep knowledge about the company or business. Draw your own connections between, say, Dan Ackerson’s travails at GM and Romney’s campaign problems.

    But there’s a political precedent that deserves more attention. Romney has captured control of the Republican party this year, but he’s always run as an outsider to it. He’s never seriously tried to win over the party bosses and the conservative movement leaders. He’s come in with the conceit that if anyone wants to ride, they need to get on board with him. This isn’t a merger to Romney, it’s a takeover.

    And in this way, the candidate of my lifetime that reminds me most of Mitt Romney is…Jimmy Carter. Carter had to run a brutal contest against the Democratic establishment to win the nomination in 1976 and his team was almost entirely composed of people who had not worked on other federal campaigns. Carter also had Romney-esque arrogance towards his party’s leaders after winning the nomination. The rift never healed and worse, Carter went into office really believing that the Democratic-controlled Congress should act like subsidiaries of his White House. It ruined any chance he had at a successful presidency.

    The ideology is 180 degrees different, but I see a lot of the same method and personality in Mitt Romney. If he beats Obama the only common thread holding Romney, the GOP and the conservative movement together now will be gone. They will turn on each other and the fight between Romney’s WH, Eric Cantor’s Congress, and Dick Armey’s K-Street operations for who is really in charge will be on.

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  37. Deborah said on August 31, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Balfheadeddork, I hope many people have come to those same conclusions about Romney not being a great leader. I’m hoping they do but I’m not that optimistic. It’s pretty typical in corporateland for CEOs to be just OK, getting a C+ or a B is perfectly acceptable.

    I’m appalled at the immorality of these power mongers, truth and honesty means absolutely nothing to these people. They lie their asses off and don’t give one hoot. When you read about Romney’s tactics at Bain and his tax evasions, you know you are dealing with a dishonest man. Saying whatever it takes to make the sale is not my idea of being a good upstanding person.

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  38. Prospero said on August 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Dork, these fuckers are too stupid to vote. The idiot redneck vote should be suppressed:

    The deal on Bain if anybody will report it, is that it began as the money launderer recruited by the superpatriot Ollie North to cover D’Aubissonns death squads in Central America. Raped nuns and murdered priests. All sorts of Lying for the Lord to back shitheels that didn’t support democratic principles. But scumbag murderers and rapists. Why the tax returns are secret. I don’t know any of this is true, but it is sure as shit as likely as President Obama is a furriner, Mittens.

    And Dork, I’ll take you one over: Does any reasonable American want Bork picking SC Justices or the lunatic racist PNAC whacko John Bolton picking foreiggn policy? These are the seriously gross farts Willard thinks ar wise men on those subjects. Yoiks!!!

    The cadidate of my lifetime was Bobby. Without a doubt. And things would have been better. Think about it. An actually good man, President of the US. When the Repuplitards attacked him, it was for turning on the scumbag phony tailgunner

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  39. Rana said on August 31, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    baldheadeddork, that’s a great piece of analysis. I hadn’t thought about it in relation to the conventions per se, but I’ve been watching the way Romney’s campaign has been run, and shaking my head over it the whole time. I couldn’t – and still can’t – tell whether their missteps are due to incompetence or operating in a bubble where they simply don’t understand that things that seem reasonable to them are far less so to the general public. (I’ve been leaning towards bubble, because I don’t think that any of them are stupid enough to make that many errors without learning from them… although, maybe, they are?)

    I also don’t know which option bodes worse for how Romney and his team would govern: would you rather have the guy who screws you over by accident, or the guy who lets you get screwed over because he simply couldn’t be bothered to care or even notice.

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  40. brian stouder said on September 1, 2012 at 12:36 am

    But the bigger problem is that despite months of miscues and mistakes no one has lost their job.

    bhdork, that’s a key point.

    Romney “built” this campaign, and it almost looks like they’re throwing the contest; like they’ve placed their bets against their own campaign (no doubt at an off-shore casino), and now they want to lose while still looking plausibly like they’re not taking a dive.

    How they could waste their big primetime opportunity, and literally place their candidate right behind a delusional and angry old white guy (complete with bed-head hair) is just completely beyond my powers of understanding, unless losing is the goal.

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  41. coozledad said on September 1, 2012 at 6:29 am

    But you can see that Romney is uncomfortable with this positioning. You can see this isn’t how he wanted it. Every once in a while—when he’s momentarily startled by the raucous Republican response to one of his coded Obama-is-foreign lines, say, or when he gets heckled—you can see real fear in Romney’s eyes. It’s the fear of someone who suddenly realized he let himself get too drunk, or nearly got into a car accident because he was dopily roaming his hand around the floor of the car, looking for the sandwich he dropped. Someone who spent his whole life chasing something, only to find that he really didn’t want it. Not like this. Never like this. Romney wanted Republicans to volunteer their respect for him with wild abandon and recognize him as a champion for his party, not to pander or be told what he’s supposed to be—that’s the opposite of leading. And then he sets his jaw for a second, and his eyes go back into half-vacant campaigning mode and the smile pops on and he gets back into it, because it’s what he’s been trained to do.

    Paul Constant
    H/T Balloon Juice.

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  42. Prospero said on September 1, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Thank you Sparty. No more Boise State whining this year.

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  43. Prospero said on September 1, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Rana@39 I’d take the guy that saw it coming an tried to hold it off. I’d be just as fucked, but I would feel better,

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  44. Scout said on September 1, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Just found this little gem. Since I’m not the only one without cable, I thought I’d share.

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  45. Prospero said on September 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Have anti-football folks ever considered how tired their bullshit is? Yep, its violent and you get hurt playing it, But it’s certainly one more of those things kids do that gramps can’t any longer and it rewards the young and the fast. n How can that be bad? I was once good at it, and people that denigrate it certainly weren’t. So fuck you. I didn’t ever do it for chicks or glory, I did it because it was a helluva lot of fun. I’m a UGA fan because I went to the best JScchool in America there, and because the best football player that ever lived went there: That would be Herschel Walker for you idiots. Otherwise, feel free to watch those idiots play soccer, the game that is beautifully mindless. No brains at all.And the only clock in the refs” heads”? GD that is stupid. There are no brains in soccer. Upfield or crossfieled, I was also pretty good at that.

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  46. Prospero said on September 1, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Athleticism is domething as gorgeous as anything humans are born with. Certainly deserves the Both are gifts from God, both should be celebrated. inordinate respect people give to intelligence, Some of us get both, but we get the wrong end for the one. There was never a stupid good football player, Maybe Tebow. That boy can’t get out of his own way.

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  47. Prospero said on September 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

    RMoney doesn’t think temps should go down Ia he fracking nuts?

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  48. Prospero said on September 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Anti-business? What a fucking idiot whore:


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  49. Charlotte said on September 1, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Brian — it’s pretty intense. We got a little rain yesterday and last night — less than a quarter inch in my rain gauge, but at least it cooled things down and knocked some of the smoke out of the air. It’s really weird to keep an eye on — mornings you can’t really see anything because the overnight temperature inversions trap the smoke in the valley, then it lifts in the afternoon, but that’s just as the winds pick up. Last night drove home that way, and at 6:30 it was nearly dark in the valley — so much smoke you couldn’t see anything, enough to make you nauseous. Today they’re predicting cooler temps, but thunderstorms, which kick up wind gusts. There’s another fire about the same size south of Bozeman — back up where there are fewer houses, but Chuck, who spent the day watering his vacation rentals which are just close enough to be worrisome, had photos of that fire sending up huge plumes from the other side of the valley as well.
    And then there’s just the car-wreck-excitement factor. You find yourself down there watching, sort of thrilled when a big run of flame goes up a ridge — I mean, 200 foot flames! But then sick because — 200 foot flames! The air support is really fascinating to watch — those big fixed wing planes that drop the retardant — they’re guided in by a smaller plane (Pilot Joe? Looks like a Cessna or something to me but I don’t know planes). Chuck said yesterday he watched them come in for a pass, decide they didn’t have it right, then circle back out over the valley to do it again. Really impressive flying — also the helicopter guys who are dipping buckets in the Yellowstone and dumping them on spot fires — mesmerizing.
    We’ve got hotshot teams from Flagstaff and Carson now, and the National Guard manning the roadblocks — the fire guys have done a great job — only lost four or five houses in Pine Creek — the lodge and the Church are still standing. The school was saved by their newest teacher hire (it’s a 2-room, 2-teacher school) who luckily, used to work for a sprinkler company and managed to fix the stuck sprinkler system as the embers were falling. Then the guy went and helped out 3 different neighbors. Way to make yourself loved in a new situation — but lots and lots of beautiful country burning — as of this morning, 5% contained, which is pretty much the same as not contained at all.
    Oh, and came home from Chuck’s house this morning to a skunked dog — direct hit to the chest. At least he kept it out of the chicken coop and the house, but oof!

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  50. Prospero said on September 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    It’s an absolute article of Goper faith that Freddie and Fannie come back to bite in the late Shrub years. The racism inherent in this argument is spectacular. Fair housing didn’t mean no redlining, it meant forcing otherwise honest white bankers to make loans for shiffless blappeople. And that’s why they are after your mortgage you didn’t pay for. It’s then darkies. and it wasn’t their fault. Sounds a whole lot like bat towers to me. Tom McGuane had this sussed out years ago. White people will fuck each other up and blame it on blappepple. No shit.

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  51. Prospero said on September 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Charlotte, I could parbly live with the bad weather, but I doubt the love of my life could? No Joke, anti-football is stupid, and soccer is so fucking stupid and boring it’s beyobd belief. Kept time? Yeah right, we be cheating.

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  52. brian stouder said on September 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Charlotte – that skunked dog made me cringe and groan! Even amidst a literal firestorm, that’s the sort of additional challenge that I bet a person will always, always remember, in the first paragraph of any remembrance of these days.

    Here’s hoping that things become boring in your part of the world, sooner rather than later!

    Coozledad, that article you linked is as incisive and truthful and timely as the Coates article that Jolene linked a week ago; it’s superb. Paul Constant really captures the essence of the attitudes and emotions “on the ground” – and it is just the same as what I ran into in down-state Illinois last week.

    Constant talked about humanity and fear in an altogether illuminating way:

    So the messaging sounded inoffensive, but when you really think about what is being said at this convention, you realize that all the red, white, and blue bunting and clothing and video imagery is a put-on. All the talk about patriotism, about supporting the troops, is just lip service. This is the most unpatriotic crowd I have ever been a part of. What they are against is community. Every sentence is devoid of empathy. Every finger-wag is aimed directly at an American who can’t afford health insurance, who hasn’t had a raise on their minimum-wage job in four years. Even as they rail against a statement that the president never really made, they are talking about tearing America down and leaving something meaner and greedier in its place. They’re radicals—radicals who’ve gone over the edge and are trying to make their radicalism mainstream.

    But is that really true? Are they the monsters I think they are when the lights are down and the demagogues are predictably spreading their demagoguery? They roar like monsters in the darkened halls of the Forum, but I look at the people around me, milling forward in the embrace of waist-high concrete barriers to their left and right, trying to get back to their cars, or their buses, or their hotels. They’re grumbling about the blisters caused by their good pair of shoes. They’re hungry. They’re tired. But they are unmistakably human beings. That bald man whose wattle hangs down over his shirt like a meaty necktie, that woman whose perm looks as arid and dry as a tumbleweed. These are peoples’ grandparents. Real human beings will weep when they die (and for most of this ancient crowd, the day that they die will probably be sometime soon). They’re scared of the imaginary world of the 1950s in their heads dying forever, and the problem is that scared people make dumb choices.

    It always comes back to fear. Fear is the single greatest enemy of survival. When you’re afraid, you can’t think ahead, you can’t plan. You try to get out of immediate danger. You climb a tree when a bear is chasing you. You dive to the ground when a snow-blind 18-wheeler is skidding right at you. You open your mouth and scream when your foot gets caught under a rock at the bottom of a river. You get mauled and eaten. You get crushed into toothpaste. You drown, and they never find your body. There is nothing left of you that resembles you anymore, and it’s all because of fear. And fear is understandable. Fear happens to all of us, there’s no shame in succumbing to a momentary burst of fear.

    Thanks again to Cooz for the link to the best thing you can possibly read this week!

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  53. Deborah said on September 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Charlotte, I meant to say this yesterday when I read your link about the fire. I was struck by the one sentence where a person had said it was laundry day and it was so windy, hot and dry that the clothes on the line dried in 5 to 10 minutes. Wow.

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  54. brian stouder said on September 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    By gosh – speakin’ of fire* – Obama was absolutely smokin’ in his Iowa speech!

    This will be good stuff, next week

    *fire in the belly, that is

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  55. MichaelG said on September 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    That sounds really awful, Charlotte. I know how you feel, having watched the tankers from my front porch. The worst part of the season here in Calif. is Sept-Oct. Starting now. I’m not worried for myself but I am nervous in general and especially for my Ex who still lives in the woods up in the foothills.

    You probably already know this but tomato juice or sauce provides amazing relief to skunk victims. Just pour it on.

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  56. Charlotte said on September 1, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Just drove down to look — apparently the trace we got in town was about 3 hours of good solid rain last night. So no big flames today, just a lot of black territory, and smouldering. Windy though, could spark up again, and thunderstorms predicted this afternoon. Part of the problem is all the beetle killed trees — lots and lots of dead, kiln-dried wood up there.

    Deborah — laundry day has been like that all summer. I bought one of those fancy front-loaders a year ago, and between that, the wind, and the humidity that’s hung at less than 10% all summer, mine was also dry almost before I could get the clothespins on. I spend a hundred bucks on water in July, and that was just to keep the yard alive, not lush, just not dead.

    Off for bath #2 for the stinky dog — baking soda, peroxide and dish soap is the methodology of choice out here. Works pretty well, but there’s residual skunk stink in the house. Poor bird dog, he’s really freaked …

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  57. MichaelG said on September 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I’m sure there will be some smiling faces among nn.cers who attended Ohio as their alma mater knocked off Penn State.

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  58. Dave said on September 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Pros told us that would never happen, MichaelG. Yes, I’m smiling.

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  59. Dave said on September 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Too late to edit, a quick (not quick enough) review tells me that Pros said Peter King had delusions of grandeur and a loss by Penn State would be like Appalachian State when they beat Michigan, not that it would never happen.

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  60. Kaye said on September 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    So happy to hear college football talk replacing political discussions everywhere. Though the Buckeyes are first in my heart I also cheered for the Bobcats today; thrilled they won. Having a bunch of trouble imagining rooting for Michigan tonight but it is harder to imagine rooting for an SEC team to beat a fellow Big Ten team.

    Speaking of sports and delusions of grandeur . . . I became so frustrated with Frank Deford’s “Over Time” that I stopped reading it. Is this his style or is it a typo/editing issue? “peace of cake” vs “piece of cake” “in the event” vs “in any event”. Ultimately I chose a few more chapters based on the titles and enjoyed a couple re: Aurther Ashe but I am returning the book without completing it. That rarely happens.

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  61. Kirk said on September 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Dexter, not sure what day’s thread it was on, but your used-car story made me laugh out loud.

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  62. Prospero said on September 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Denard Robinson is not looking faster than Usain Bolt yet. How can anybody be that stupid? But, it’s SEC vs. Big Whatever. What would anybody expect?

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  63. brian stouder said on September 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    So, I found a thing or two thanks to Uncle Google, regarding the dark spot on Romney’s American flag lapel pin, which kept catching my eye (on his suit and on others) during the convention.

    Apparently a guy on Daily Kos noticed the same thing, and found that it is a flag pin with a black Republican elephant super-imposed upon it!

    He wonders (as do I!) how many milliseconds would elapse before the flying monkeys of the rightwing airwaves would take flight – with pedal-to-the-metal outrage if Obama/Biden and or others at the Democratic convention “defaced Old Glory!” (or whatever) with a Democratic symbolism blotting out the stars and stripes.

    And aside from that, I was pleased to see that Nate Silver’s always-reliable and insightful analysis of the national tracking polls, in the wake of the Republican convention is showing what most of us hereabouts already feel; Romney’s campaign is simply not on pace to win.

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  64. ROGirl said on September 2, 2012 at 7:54 am

    The link to the Constant article didn’t work yesterday, but I was able to read it this morning, and I agree wholeheartedly with what he says about fear. It’s the great motivator.

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  65. Prospero said on September 2, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Willard’s advisers about everything he doan know shit about? John Bolton and Robert Bork. Ain’t that a pair of exceptional Murricans?

    Denard Robinson maybe should think about not running his mouth regarding Usain Bolt.

    He wonders (as do I!) how many milliseconds would elapse before the flying monkeys of the rightwing airwaves would take flight – with pedal-to-the-metal outrage if Obama/Biden and or others at the Democratic convention “defaced Old Glory!” (or whatever) with a Democratic symbolism blotting out the stars and stripes.

    The flag is a rag, and these folks are too stupid to realize the “Pledge” they hold in such high esteem was written by a died-in-the-wool socialist, and the “under God” part was added in the 50s by the KofC in support of Tailgunner Joe. Exceptional, eh?

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  66. Prospero said on September 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

    An absolutely brilliant installment from Six Chix:

    Those are some fine cartoonists.

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  67. Prospero said on September 2, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Peggyy Lipton with Beatle Paul:

    Damn she was good-looking.

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  68. Prospero said on September 2, 2012 at 11:02 am

    What the originalist founders intended:

    Biggest fracking liars ever.

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  69. Prospero said on September 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Sun Myung Moon kicked it.Geez I saz rilly upset. This mofo messed up the USA beyond comprehension. An asshole. But what the hey?

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